You’re running ads, but your sales don’t seem to be increasing. Or perhaps you post constantly on social media, but your sales aren’t increasing. No matter what you seem to do, how much effort you put in, how many dollars you spend or how much engagement your posts get, the cash register just isn’t ringing.
You’re frustrated, you’re tired of wasting time and money, and you wonder why you bother.
When you’re completely fed up and not getting any return on the money you’ve invested, it’s easy to think that advertising and social media … Just. Don’t. Work.
As a result, you stop advertising altogether, and your social media presence dwindles.
If this sounds like you, then there’s a good chance your sales funnel is broken in a few places. However, here are three ways to identify and plug those leaky holes, and start seeing sales …
1) Working out where the pipeline is broken
Before you can fix anything, you need to work out what’s broken. Seems easy, right?
The problem that we all have when we analyse our business, is that we’re too close. It’s hard to take a ‘birds eye’ view of your whole business, because you feel like it should be intuitive to the customer. On top of that, this is something you’ve put a lot of time and effort into, so being told that it’s not perfect can be, quite simply, a kick in the guts.
No one wants to feel this way about their business, so we gloss over what’s wrong and blame the customer, blame the advertising, or blame the social media platform.
Anyone but ourselves.
1.2) Working out where the pipeline is broken – Take 2
Once you can take your emotions out of the equation, it’s time to work out what’s not working.
Marketing is full of steps that you can over-analyse and tweak, so as to improve your results. But generally speaking, there are two main parts you need to focus on, when conducting your ‘birds-eye’ view: traffic and conversion.
2) Which part of the funnel is leaking?
Traffic is the term used for more eyeballs on your brand. An increase in traffic can be seen as more people coming into your store, greater unique visits to your website, or a rising, engaged social media following. If you have any, or all of these, then the traffic part of the funnel is working fine.
However, if that traffic isn’t turning into sales, you have a conversion problem. Your message and your advertising is hitting the right people, but once it’s time to buy, something is letting them (and you) down.
3) How to fix it
If traffic is your downfall, then the people you want to reach aren’t finding you.
This could be because your message is off, your ads aren’t targeted enough, or you haven’t really delved deep into what your customer is looking for, what problems you’re solving for them, and how you want to make the feel.
Getting REALLY clear on that one customer – the one that loves what you sell, that comes back regularly to see what’s new, and tells all their friends about you, is step one. Knowing THAT customer, even better than they know themselves, is the foundation to build your whole marketing campaign around. You’ll find that everything falls into place, your message can be refined, your product range can be tweaked, and you’ll know exactly where to advertise and the words to use.
Now if conversions are where your sales funnel is leaking, it may take some extra work to find out where.
If you have a website, start by looking at your bounce rate. A high bounce rate means that people leave as soon as they arrive. Check your Google Analytics to see exactly where people are dropping off. This information will help you to tweak where in the customer journey they’re disconnecting.
In store, take a fresh look at how your store is presented, from before you even enter. Signage, window displays, a clean sidewalk, all of these things are creating a positive first impression.
If people are coming in, but not buying, staff training may be in order. You can also analyse your inventory and product range to make sure it’s what the customer expects. Is your store easily navigable and pleasant to be in?
All of these touch points should be viewed from the customer’s perspective and adjusted where necessary.
Remember, the term ‘sales funnel’ refers to the journey of the customer. That little adventure they take from becoming aware of your brand, right through to purchasing.
When you think of it less like a funnel, and more like an adventure, you can be the guide. Create a trip that your customer wants to take again and again, find the obstacles, remove them and put people back on the right path and they’ll come back again and again.